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How to explain daddy being gone....

to a 3 year old. My husband deployed a couple days ago and my 2 almost 3 year old keeps asking where he is and looking for him every time she wakes up in the morning and for naps. She's used to waking up from naps and mornings and having daddy be there. I keep telling her that daddy is at work for a while but it's the same thing every morning. It almost breaks my heart when I tell her daddy won't be home for a long time (1-2 years). I don't tell her it's going to be that long just say he's gone bye bye for a while. She gets a sad face on and asks for daddy again.


Asked by mommy_of_two388 at 6:12 PM on Jul. 17, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (9)
  • I grew up an army brat and my dad had to leave often for month or two long trips. It really helped when my mom got out a calendar and a map. She would show me on the calendar when about he would be back. Then, she'd show me on the map where he was at. It helped to see where we were compared to where he was.
    Looking at the calendar helped me put a picture to the time.
    Good luck. :-)

    Answer by Kiwismommy19 at 6:21 PM on Jul. 17, 2010

  • Just keep explaining it to her the way you have been. Eventually she'll ask less and less until she doesn't ask anymore.

    She doesn't understand that he's going to be gone for a long time and she probably wont understand. It's an adjustment for her and she will get used to it, it will take her a little time though.

    Answer by Laila-May at 6:13 PM on Jul. 17, 2010

  • well, the talking should have started BEFORE your husband deployed. ...but i have always just told my son (who is now 4.5) that Daddy's job as a soldier sometimes takes him far away from us. And even though we don't want him to be far away, it is important that Daddy does his job because soldiers help make sure that the people we love are safe.
    something along those lines anyways.

    Good luck with those kiddos. i know how hard it is.

    Answer by outstandingLove at 6:14 PM on Jul. 17, 2010

  • Did dad take his laptop so you could skype or use the webcam? That helps.

    Answer by admckenzie at 6:19 PM on Jul. 17, 2010

  • My husband is also military but my son was 4 when he left so it was easier for him to understand. Just keep telling her that he is at work and she will eventually stop asking. If she seems like she is having a hard time still you can take a picture of him and have a "daddy doll" made with his face on it so she can carry it around with her and/or sleep with it. The time will go faster then you think. :)

    Answer by vnw1405 at 6:23 PM on Jul. 17, 2010

  • I agree with Kiwismommy of the map and calendar, she is old enough she could understand that. To cope and add to that you could get a book and start making a diary for daddy of what you do every day. Or she draw a picture, write things to him. When my husband deploys I am going to do this, a seperate book for each child. Do you have videos of him? Show those, since it's too late for him to record himself reading stories or singing or whatever things he did with her, just show regular videos of him.My osn is almost 2 and my husband is in a transitionary period of Active Duty and National Guard and is gone and here for odd periods of time. After 6 weeks of this, this last week I think it finally clicked with my son that daddy was gone. He would ask too after waking Where's Daddy and walk around looking for him. It sucks. Now that Daddy is home for a little while it will be nice, until he leaves again. I feel your pain.

    Answer by 2BlondeBabies at 6:31 PM on Jul. 17, 2010

  • Explain to your child what he does, show her pictures of him or others within uniform and say see he is at work right now and will be gone for a little while longer. It will be hard and an adjustment for the both of you. Children respond to habit and don’t understand when something gets thrown out of wake. Just be patient and keep explaining it will click no worries.

    Answer by Amanda_03 at 9:35 PM on Jul. 17, 2010

  • its hard but you just have to keep telling her and eventually she'll start to understand a little better, and start asking less. letting her talk to daddy whenever he gets a chance to call, showing pictures of her and daddy helps. my daughter has a daddy cork board on her wall, she picks out pictures she wants to put on it and its covered in pictures of her and her dad, her dad, her dad and me etc...every picture has her dad in it somewhere. she's 4 1/2 she also has laminated pictures of daddy she can carry around on her bad days. tell her daddy is at work, he has to eat at work, sleep at work, play at work etc.....but that he misses her and loves her very much too.

    Answer by jessil83 at 10:10 PM on Jul. 17, 2010

  • Yes he took it but he's on a ship and in the middle of the ocean so he cant get WI Fi and he's webcam doesnt work...

    Comment by mommy_of_two388 (original poster) at 6:20 PM on Jul. 17, 2010